Rangers trade Andrus to A's for Khrush

February 6th, 2021

The Rangers have traded a centerpiece of their franchise. Shortstop Elvis Andrus is heading to the A’s in return for outfielder , the club confirmed Saturday.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers also received catcher -- the A’s No. 9-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline -- and right-hander Dane Acker in the trade. Texas also sent catcher Aramis Garcia and $13 million in cash considerations.

Andrus spent his entire 12-year MLB career in Texas, appearing in two All-Star Games and two World Series.

“On behalf of the Texas Rangers, I want to thank Elvis Andrus for the tremendous impact he has made on our organization over the last 12 years," Rangers chairman and managing partner Ray Davis said in a statement. "His play on the field, his connection to our fans and his work in the community have played an integral part in shaping our franchise. He will forever be a member of the Texas Rangers family. We wish him the very best.”

He was the last remaining member of the Rangers’ 2011 World Series run. While Andrus struggled with injuries in '20, he hit .274/.330/.329 over his career and was a constant presence at shortstop. He is the franchise leader in stolen bases, with 305.

Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels emphasized that Andrus left a lasting legacy on the club.

“One of the most exciting parts about this, because as great as those teams were, it was a decade ago,” he said. “So we've moved past that and I'm excited to see these guys compete and form their own identity as a club. This allows them, being the group coming right behind him, it allows them in some ways kind of a free runway ahead of them to demonstrate who they are.”

Andrus was set to be a utility infielder in 2021 after the Rangers announced Isiah Kiner-Falefa would be their everyday shortstop. Andrus would have competed to be the starting third baseman in Spring Training.

Third base will still be an open competition in Arizona, with Rougned Odor leading the pack, but the trade did not affect the Rangers’ plans with top prospect Josh Jung.

“We would like to give Josh and a lot of our young players a chance to develop and play in a traditional Minor League setting,” Daniels said. “That's our hope, that we will be able to do that early in the season and be able to evaluate if they are as far along as we think they might be.”

Davis was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Brewers and spent the past five seasons with the A’s. Davis is in the final year of a two-year contract extension.

Through 30 games in 2020, he hit .200/.303/.329. Daniels believes that even though Davis struggled this past season, it is not indicative of what he can offer the club in '21.

The Rangers do have an abundance of outfield options, and Davis will likely factor in with American League Gold Glove Award winner Joey Gallo and David Dahl. Leody Taveras and Willie Calhoun will also be fighting for at-bats.

Davis can also take reps at designated hitter and adds power to the Rangers' offense, hitting 158 homers over his five seasons with Oakland. If Davis is healthy, Daniels sees him competing at multiple positions in Spring Training. Manager Chris Woodward said he asked Davis if he would be comfortable playing first base as well.

“He said he would work at it and wasn't against it,” Woodward said. “So I think the answers present themselves through Spring Training and we’ll get these guys at-bats and see where they're at and they'll have to earn it.”

Heim will add needed depth at catcher for the Rangers behind Jose Trevino with prospect Sam Huff likely staying in the Minors to start the season. The switch-hitting Heim made his Major League debut with Oakland last season, hitting .211 through 13 games.

Daniels said the Rangers like Heim as a defensive catcher in both his framing and throwing.

“I would expect him to come in and compete for [backup catcher],” Woodward said. “I think we definitely hold him in high regard, and we got to see him a little bit last year. But he's got to come in and earn that. I fully expect him to come in with that mentality to come in and compete for that spot.”

Acker, who was chosen in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft by the A’s, has yet to pitch professionally. A College Station, Texas, native, Acker spent time at Rice, San Jacinto College and Oklahoma during college. He was on the Rangers' Draft board but was picked before they could grab him.

Rangers general manager Chris Young said the club sees Acker as somebody who profiles as a starting pitcher. Young wants to build on his starting pitching throughout the Minor Leagues and watch as he develops through the system.

“He’s got clean, easy delivery with a good fastball and curveball and OK changeup at this point,” Young said. “He’s somebody we think can take another leap as we get him in the organization and identify his strengths and build on those. We're excited about it and we're hopeful that he can take more steps to becoming a big league pitcher and eventually help us out at the big league level.”